Cautionary Cake Tale

Today I have a cautionary cake tale. I love dessert, I mean, I make cakes…all the time. So a delicious cake was important to me. This is our cake:

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Chocolate Cake with chocolate buttercream makes a delicious cake! Now take a look at this:

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This is the first and last bite of cake I got! Do not forget to eat your delicious cake! I became totally distracted and completely missed eating the cake! Your wedding will be a whirlwind, if you can, have someone set aside some cake for you to take home. I was so sad I missed it, the one bite I had was delicious though!

The Details

Something that I was really proud of in our wedding was all the work we put into the details. I think it’s something that I think really made our wedding fun and memorable for us and our guests. Try and pick details for your wedding that are in keeping with your style and make it unique to you! Everyone will love to see your “couple” personality shine through!

Things I Learned ON Wedding Day

There are a lot of expectations that seem to come with a wedding day. It was funny because I wandered around for much of the day apologizing to everyone saying, ” I don’t know, I’ve never done this before!” It is a strange feeling of wanting to have everything under control, and realizing it’s impossible.

I started the day off early, going over to the venue to start setting everything up for the day. We had spent the previous two days putting up most of the decor, but since the ceremony was outside we could only set it up the day of.

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Being a “Type A” I liked spending most of the day at the venue to dictate how everything was set up. Since the photographer would be at the house soon, I left the set up to family and friends.

So the first thing a Flat Broke Bride needs is awesome family and friends in the absence of a wedding planner. They were awesome champs who really pulled it all together! I learned how I am surrounded by wonderful people who did everything they could to pull everything together to make our day special.

The next thing I learned was that I should have paid attention to the “What Not To Forget” lists on the blogs. Specifically: EAT. I didn’t realize I was starving until I was in my wedding dress. I seriously got it on and realized, “Crap. I forgot to eat.” My maid of honor saved the day by bringing me a cup of grapes. Grapes. The bride’s life-saver food. Unless you suck at eating grapes are a mess-less food.

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My mom was kind enough to capture me chowing down. 🙂

Now here is something I don’t think anyone tells you: Once you have that dress on you are basically rendered helpless/useless. This is the most frustrating part of the day. I stood in the house watching everyone run like madmen and I couldn’t help, I just had to stand there. I was never more frustrated than I was at that very moment. And that moment lasts until you walk down the aisle. The best advice I can give is to bite your tongue (literally) and concentrate on breathing. If you feel yourself losing your cool, bitch to your maid of honor about your feelings. If she’s awesome like mine she’ll talk you off the ledge.

Here’s probably one of the coolest things I’ve learned: All that frustration that you’ve been feeling, instantly disappears as soon as you see your husband. Like, instantly. I’m going to advocate for first looks for a minute here. Because we did a first look, I got to have a moment alone and away with him before the wedding began. Just seeing him made me completely let go of any anxiety I had. We had a few moments to laugh and enjoy each other before we had to be in front of everyone.

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It was such a wonderful day! We had so many wonderful people in our lives to make it all possible! All these pictures have been from family and friends. The professional photos are going to be so wonderful, I can’t wait to share them!

We Are Wed!

So all is said and done! Achievement Unlocked: Marriage! We are now Level 5 adults (and still super nerds)! We could not have asked for a more perfect Maine summer week to get married. We had sun the whole week and the day of the wedding there were no clouds and it was a perfect 75 degrees.

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The house we got to stay at was beautiful and more than enough room for the family and friends. There was a path in the back of the house where we found wild blackberries to pick!
The day before the wedding my maid of honor was a champ and put together all the adorable signs that went around the venue.
But probably the best thing of all was spending the time with family. I hadn’t seen my nephew at all, my sister and her husband live out of the country so this week I spent all the time with them that I could. My nephew is the most adorable child ever and I’m so lucky to have gotten to spend the time with him that I did!

The pictures should be here in about a month, but check out a sneak peek on our photographer’s blog here! We worked with Casey from Hello Love photography and she did a wonderful job! But I also can’t resist sharing a first dance photo of us taken by a friend!

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A Post From The Heart

I have really not been inspired lately. I have been more or less exhausted. Working six days a week is really taking its toll on me (and my mood). But on top of all that is that I really haven’t seen my husband-to-be in a very long time. No, he hasn’t gone missing, we just work entirely different work shifts and never get the same days off. When he leaves for work I am asleep, and when I get home from work he’s asleep.

This has been the hardest change for us. We went from seeing each other all the time, developing a pattern and bonding, to communicating through text (now, I love my phone, but it is a horrible cuddler). And I feel like this separation has put a strain on our relationship. That’s really hard to say in a public forum, but it’s true.

When you are in a relationship, it’s so important to see each other and talk with each other, and cuddle. There is something about being in each other’s presence that builds the relationship. The other day he was actually home when I was, and we got to cuddle on the couch for a bit. Those moments of just sitting and cuddling made a huge difference in my mood. Just that short time brought back that feeling of partnership we had at the beginning.

The six-day work week won’t last forever, and we are trying to get through this time the best we can, but it is hard. I miss my best friend and partner. I say all this not to bring doom and gloom to your Wedding Wednesday, but to maybe offer some comfort to other men and women that are dealing with problems like this.

It seems like so many people gloss over the fact that relationships go through trials and tests and I don’t want to be that person. I want you all to know, we are just like you. We are working hard on our relationship in the midst of difficult life obstacles on top of planning a wedding that is less than 4 months away.

In the face of these obstacles we are committed to each other, we are committed to what we know we have. We don’t need to stand up in front of family and friends to know that. And if you guys truly love your significant other, you’ll feel that too. It will get better, it’s just hard right now, and I understand.

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I May Be Biased But…DIY

I just got some replacement craft supplies in the mail and became inordinately happy. Isn’t that always the way? The simple package in the mail is the most exciting thing that happens in my day, it could be full of bills but who knows when it’s wrapped in cardboard!

Getting my supplies made me dream about how our wedding is going to look when everything is done, and how happy I am that I went the DIY route. I’ve seen so many weddings that all look alike. The same hall, the same chairs, relatively the same center pieces, and it is just nice to know that I and my family created something different.

So my advice of the day is to find a way to make your wedding your own. Not everyone is crafty and has the time to make their whole wedding, but I think that every bride should pick one way to make their wedding personal.

Here’s a great starting place from the wonderful Ruffled blog. Why not write a personal message to your honey on your place setting? This is a wonderfully easy how to.

The Best Kind Of Work AND Pinspiration!

When watching the tail end of the Oscars I got to watch live, I caught Ben Affleck’s Oscar speech. When I heard what he said to his wife I was so pleased. I felt like someone finally acknowledged what no one says out loud. While other people were thanking their “perfect wife” or their “exceptional husband” you always think, “Well that’s sweet.” But when Ben said thank you to his wife for, “working on our marriage for 10 Christmases…It is work, but it’s the best kind of work, and there’s no one I’d rather work with” I almost stood up and cheered because NO ONE ever says that! Why doesn’t anyone ever tell you how much work marriage is going to be? Why do we always get stuck with the fairy tale and not the truth?

Well if no one has told you, Ben and I will. It’s work. Like 80% of marriage is work, but it is the best kind of work. You are working to build something beautiful. You are working to age together, to get to a place where you know each other so well, it seems you know the other person’s thoughts. But people are complicated and can take a lifetime to learn. Marriage is the commitment saying you are willing to stick it out through the hardships, not just of life, but the hardships of living with each other. Some days you can love your husband more than words can express, then other days you would be happier if he moved to Siberia for a few months.

Ben got a lot of flack from what he said, because he made it seem like his marriage was “in trouble,” but really he was just telling a truth that our society has liked to keep buried. As I plan our wedding and go through life with my husband-to-be I find out more and more what it’s like to stick to your promises to each other, even in hard times. I want to hold fast to those promises because, like Ben said, “there is no one I’d rather work with.”

Sorry for the seriousness, I just wanted to share my thoughts on Ben’s speech on marriage, I was really touched by it.
Pinspiration
I thought we could go with a great quote for Pinspiration this week.


I found and re-pinned this from Sarah over at Burnett’s Boards. She ALWAYS has excellent Pinspiration over there!

What do you guys think? Do you agree with Ben’s Oscar speech?

Tips For Trimming The Guest List

I have decided that today or Tuesday is the day when I will print all of my invitations. This is a scary thought. While I believe I have fixed all the problems with the prototype, I am still nervous about making such a big purchase. I want these invites to be perfect and with me DIY-ing a lot of them, maybe they won’t be.

The other (seemingly insurmountable) problem we have to solve is the guest list. Months and months ago we sat down to make a tentative guest-list and have not re-visited it since. As far as I can tell, we were doing alright on numbers, but we have yet to consult with each set of parents to figure out who we should invite. My top number is 50 and I’m super firm on that, especially since that’s pretty much the capacity of the barn where everyone will eat dinner. The number of people you invite also determines your budget. The smaller your guest-list the less you will have to buy and/or spend on vendors. You can find classy venues on the cheap, and you can make your details more elaborate because there will be less people. I think if I had to hold a 200 guest wedding, I would be in even more hot water, monetarily speaking, than I already am!

How do you whittle down that guest list?

First, each of you make a list separately of the friends and family of yours you want to invite. Than get a large piece of paper/white board and a pencil/dry erase marker (I just really like the concept of a white-board for this). Make two columns, The Must Haves and The Maybe Haves. Make your must haves family and very close friends only. And by family I mean more immediate family, leave your second cousins for the maybe haves list. In the next column, write down everyone else. Then, go through each person on the maybe haves list and start to cut. Ask yourself, “How close are we?” “When did I last speak to them?” “If they weren’t there, would that be a real detriment?” Don’t invite someone because you feel obligated to!

Another thing to keep in mind: “Will this single person bring a date?” If the answer is yes, you must either account for that person, or do not leave a space for date-bringing. If they really want to bring another person, they should ask, at least that’s how I feel about it. No place on the R.S.V.P. for a date? Then you can’t have one!

Cutting people is harsh, and feelings may get hurt, but if you can’t afford it, than you can’t afford it. People need to be understanding of the fact that a wedding is a huge financial burden, and sometimes that means cutting people from attending.

If you are STILL having trouble, try this (click on the Image to see a larger version):

While browsing through the never-ending Pinterest void, I came across this very helpful Infographic flow-chart on how to whittle down your guest list. I think it’s a great outline for the right questions to ask! Good luck! Now I have to grab my hubby-to-be so we can get this daunting task done!

Valentine’s Day Tomorrow!

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, and I was seriously going to make some adorable pink cookies and share them with you here…but again the broke factor in my life rears it’s ugly head, and I had no extra money for desserts this week. 😦

Since I work on Valentine’s Day, my hubby and I are celebrating on my days off. On my first day off he gave me my present.

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He did a wonderful job! He picked his favorite photo from our engagement shoot, got it printed on canvas and, all by himself, put it on a frame that he built. I think that is my favorite part, that he put it together all by himself.

The next day he made me dinner with steak! What are you all doing for Valentine’s Day? Don’t know how to make it special on the cheap? Here are some thoughts:

1) Buy dinner items and cook for your significant other. Believe me, you can get a lot better food, and a lot more food for a lot cheaper if you make it yourself. Everyone loves having dinner made for them! Spice it up with a fancy table cloth and a few candles from the dollar store, make your dining room look like a romantic restaurant!

2) Redbox/Netflix/Borrow a movie you both have wanted to see. Obvious date idea, true, but sometimes, if your life is like ours, time together is so hard to find, that when we watch a movie together, it’s a special thing. Going out to a movie is kind of pricy now a days, but if you make going to a movie the only Valentine’s Day event, you can still spend very little, and get to go out. You can make it a special event and dress up! Sure you may be the only couple in the theater in a gown and a suit but who cares?

3) So if it’s freezing where you live, and you like that, try a day of freezing cold sports! Skiing can be relatively inexpensive, especially if you already own equipment. Even if you don’t own equipment, you can look for the best deals at the ski slopes around you and probably spend $100. It seems like a lot, at least to me, but it can actually be cheaper to have a day of fun at the ski slopes, than to go out to dinner and a movie. Another inexpensive freezing sport, ice skating. Even with rental skates, a few fun hours of ice skating can be pretty cheap!

4) Are you a gaming family? Why not challenge your hubby to a long game of Mario Kart? Make a day of it! A tournament death match battle with your favorite vs. video games! If you have a Kinect or a Wii, you can even get active while competing!

5) Geocaching. It’s like hunting for really crappy treasure. This is an idea for those of you who aren’t buried under 7 feet of snow. The idea is to go around your house and find a bunch of silly little things you don’t mind giving up (bouncy balls, pencils etc). After you’ve combined a pile of stuff you don’t want, go to http://www.geocaching.com/ and find some coordinates near you. Type those coordinates into an available GPS or download a Geocaching App to help with finding a cache. Once you have your coordinates, use the GPS to find the little treasure box. When you find the box, take a piece of junk from it, and replace it with a piece of junk you brought. Ok, it sounds lame, but I swear it’s fun!

Here’s hoping you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day with your special someone!

Something New On The Blog! AND The Most Important Wedding Planning Tip I’ve Learned So Far

Ok, is it just me, or are there now like 8 gagillion social media apps we are supposed to keep up with now? Does anyone else blog, and want others to read what they’ve blogged? I know that I don’t pay for my own domain or anything, but I’d still like my content to get out there to brides that are dealing with the same things I am. But, in order to do that, market myself (which is a very uncomfortable thing to do, as I am finding out more and more how much of a private person I am), I have to be on all these different social media outlets and use them regularly. Ok, maybe some people’s’ lives are so interesting they always have something to tweet about or a picture to instagram (which is now a verb?), but my life is nowhere near that cool. You either get my cats, or the Maine woods…that’s pretty much it. I’d love to tweet more…I just have nothing funny, witty or cool to say every moment of every day. I envy the people who can come up with fun things every few minutes.

Alright, rant over. It was only sparked by this new “Vine” app that seems to be taking off. To be honest, it’s cool, but yet again, I have nothing in my life worth making a stop-motion video about, nor do I have that much time on my hands.

So I guess you are all aware that January is over? And at the end of the month what do we all do? Pay bills…yay. Bill paying is always the most stressful thing for me! I am the finance manager in our house, which seems to be a thing now. More and more women are managing the household finances now a days. I grew up with my dad as an accountant, so he managed everything. I inherited some of his flair for finances so I guess that’s why I do it now. But, as my sister is always quick to point out, I am a very high-strung individual, and worry unnecessarily about, like, everything, so you can imagine why bill paying sucks for me.

Lately though, it hasn’t been so bad! My hubby-to-be got a promotion at work and so he is making a little bit more than he used to, leaving…EXTRA. :::gasp!::: So now I have a little extra to throw around.

So here it is: THE MOST IMPORTANT PLANNING TIP I’VE LEARNED SO FAR:

Pay people as you go! Every time someone says “Oh, you’re saving for a wedding.” In my head I’m thinking, “Yeah and very poorly.” That was because we would get a little extra money, and spend it immediately on deposits or crafting supplies, which is for the wedding, but that meant no money was saved. I didn’t see us as making progress because we kept depleting our savings.

Here is the thing, you are saving for a wedding when you don’t plan at all, you just put money away until you have enough then you plan. If you are in the process of planning you are no longer saving because, as I’m sure those of you planning have noticed, the money comes in, then goes right out. So when you do get a little extra at the end of each month, DON’T save it! Find a vendor you’d like to pay down and send them a check! Make sure to include a note with the total you owe them, and then the new remaining balance after they cash your check. You’ll be amazed what you can pay off a little at a time, and what once seemed like a daunting task is now a little bit easier.

AND I have a few bonus tips for you! (I feel like I’ve learned a lot)

1) If you are a bank account nazi like me, and want to send your vendors the money but not have to wait (sometimes up to a month) for the check to be cashed, then send a money order. Almost all business accept them, it’s a safe way to send money, and the total comes right out of your bank account. I discovered this with the last round of checks I sent. I’m still waiting on one to be cashed. I hate having to subtract that amount from my bank account every time!

2) Tax Returns are a wonderful thing. For most of America, tax returns are a happy time, when we receive a bunch of money back for doing our duty to the country. First I would suggest if you have the extra money, get an accountant. My daddy is a great one, if you want his information, just contact me! Really, though, get someone who knows the biz and can squeeze every last bit of money you deserve out of the government. Then, when that money comes into your account use ALL of it to pay for your wedding stuff. Not some, not half, ALL. If you budget each month as usual and don’t count your tax return, you won’t miss it when it’s gone!

But really, biggest thing: Pay as you go! When ever there is extra money that isn’t going to a bill, pay a vendor. Trust me, you’ll thank me when your wedding day comes!

AND NOW: THE NEW THING! 🙂

Pinspiration

I know that sometimes I post on here with inspiration pictures, most of which I get from Pinterest. So I thought I would start something new! Every Friday I will have a new Pinspiration for you! Most of the time it will be wedding related, but sometimes it might be something I just find really cool or beautiful! I hope you enjoy this new Friday special!

This comes courtesy of a blog called PaperVine and it’s a DIY! I thought that with this being the month of Valentines, why not make your hubby an adorable gift like this! Happy Friday all!